1. What is the name of your shop or business and what do you sell?
My name is Ashley Burt and I own Wooly Maple, a line of hand crafted crochet accessories and screen printed apparel. My products include hats, infinity scarves, headbands, Tote bags, T shirts, Tank Tops and Sweatshirts. I also offer crochet workshops for those interested in learning the craft.
2. Where are you located? or where do you sell?
I operate out of my home in Old South.
My products can be purchased at Loveleigh Boutique in Downtown London, and at the many events and shows I participate in throughout the year. The next one is the Spring Merry Makers Fair on Sunday, May 7th at the Covent Garden Market.
3. Do you have your own website/store or online link?
You can find Wooly Maple on Facebook : www.facebook.com/woolymaple
and on Instagram @woolymaple
4. How long have you been doing your craft/art and how did you get started?
I have been crocheting for over 10 years, and started professionally 2 years ago. I started the business because I was in between jobs and needed a way to bring income into the household. I've since gained a full time job, but Wooly Maple has only gotten bigger since!
5. Who or what inspires you to create?
The city of London and the people in it are what inspire me. I take my queues from my customers; if I get enough requests for an item or product, I'll start offering it regularly. My clothing line is a great example of that. I rebranded last year and everyone loved my logo so much that they wanted to see it on T shirts and tank tops, I had no intention of learning how to screen print or to start a clothing line! But, the people spoke!
6. Do you listen to music when you work, and if so what kind?
I listen to Basia Bulat, a Canadian Folk singer on repeat when I'm working. Over and over, same albums, all the time. She is one of my favorites and I've come to associate her music with being creative. I don't even think about it anymore, If I'm working...Basia is on.
7. What do you like least/most about your craft?
What I like most is the sense of purpose it gives me. It's a wonderful feeling going to bed at the end of the day knowing you spent it doing something that truly matters to you.
What I like least is the Social Media aspect. It's a necessary evil in order to be a successful brand, but it often takes up time that I'd rather be spending creating.
8. Describe your workspace?
Chaos. Utter chaos!
I have a craft room but it's full of supplies, so I work in my living room/dining room.
Yarn everywhere, all the time!
You have to call before you come over, otherwise I'm not opening the door :)
9. What is one of your best moments as a crafter/artist?
One of the best moment's in my business was the first time a customer sent me a selfie wearing one of my hats. It wasn't a friend or a relative, it was a complete stranger who didn't know me at all, but loved my product so much that she took the time to take and send me a photo.
To know someone other than myself was proud to be wearing Wooly Maple was a huge moment for me. There are so many talented makers in London that I "Fan Girl" over, so to be on the receiving end of that affection made me think " Okay, maybe I've got something here..."
10. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting their own craft business?
Make it a priority.
Starting your own business is a lot of long, long, long hours and very hard work.
It's so worth it, but it's not easy and you get out of it what you put into it.